Knowledge of an exclusion or guarantee clause is not presumed and must be proven by the insurer.
Thus, he was tried, in a judgment of the Court of Cassation of 27 May 2003 (Civ. I, 27 May 2003, appeal : 00-13401), – rendered in a case in which the company MACIF relied on an exclusion clause relating to thefts committed when the boat was entrusted to a professional for guarding, wintering, maintenance, repair or sale,- that the knowledge by the insured of the exclusion clause that MACIF opposed him was not presumed but, on the contrary, had to be proved by :
Whereas in order to accept the insurer’s exclusion of coverage and dismiss Mr. X… the contested judgment held that, at the time of subscription of the contract, the insured could assess the particular conditions only after having read the general conditions and thus been able to measure the extent of the proposed guarantee and that Mr X…, who had chosen to act against the company he had entrusted with guarding the boat, could only know these general conditions ;
Whereas, however, the Court of Appeal had found that Mr. X… had received from his insurer only the certificate of insurance of May 11, 1990, tab n ° 001 of June 8, 1990, the premium call of June 8, 1990, the premium calls of the years 1991 and 1992 and tab n° 001 of May 20, 1992 ; that by presuming knowledge of the general conditions by the insured, without drawing the legal consequences of its own findings from which it resulted that the insurer could not have brought to the insured the general conditions of the policy and, consequently, the exclusion clause at issue, the Court of appeal violated the abovementioned text ; ON THESE GROUNDS : BREAKS AND CANCELS the (…) »